Sultan's daughter now barred from speaking about Sabah crisis
MANILA - A brother of a Sulu sultan who is one of the claimants to Sabah on Monday sought for peace in the disputed territory.
Sultan Bantilan Esmail Kiram, brother of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, held a press conference for the first time to make an appeal to the Malaysian government.
Speaking in Bahasa Malaysia, Esmail urged Kuala Lumpur to talk to his people as Muslims and peacefully resolve the conflict in Sabah.
"It saddens me because it concerns brother Muslims. I'm appealing to our brother Malaysians," he said.
"Let us all together resolve this issue as we are Muslims. Hopefully, they will heed our appeal for the resolution of this conflict as soon as possible. Peace be with you," he added.
Esmail held the press conference after his meeting with Interior Secretary Mar Roxas wherein the Kirams laid out their plans and strategies to resolve the Sabah conflict.
Esmail said they will wait for Roxas to inform President Benigno Aquino about the meeting but refused to give the details.
Esmail was joined by his wife, children, siblings, nieces and nephews at the press conference.
They said they are united as a family.
Esmail said his meeting with Roxas and the press conference had the blessings of Jamalul.
He added that the sultan's daughter, Jacel, is no longer allowed to speak on the Sabah crisis as it is not in accordance to the Shariah law for women to discuss important issues.
He said media should instead direct all of their question to their clan's spokesman, Abraham Idjirani.